Epinephelus stoliczkae (Epaulet grouper)


The epaulet grouper, Epinephelus stoliczkae, is an uncommon species. The head and first half of the body is brownish grey and covered in red-brown dots, the rear half is much lighter with 3 dark  brown bands.


Data deficient according to the IUCN Red list. Not enough is known about its biology or threats to the population to categorize them yet. This is probably due to its limited habitat. They are commonly seen in the Red Sea and around the Arabian Peninsula, and only rarely outside that area.


Epinephelus stoliczkae can be found in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and Gulf of Oman. They have also been reported from the Indian and Pakistani coast. They prefer shallow and sandy coasts with scattered coral heads, in a depth range of 5-50 meters. They are hardly seen on well-developed reefs.



Up to 35 cm.

Prey / Predation

Epaulet groupers feed on smaller fish and crustaceans.

Special features

More research should be done on this species in order to preserve them in their already limited habitat. They show similarities with their relatives E. rivulatus, that appears from Yemen all they way to New Caledonia. Sightings in the Indian Ocean of E. stoliczkae may very well be E. rivulatus in fact. An easy key feature to keep them apart is that E. rivulatus lacks the red-brown dots that are present in E. stoliczkae.